54-40 ticket sales low: organizer

Even with 54-40 headlining this year’s concert series, the Bulkley Valley Kinsmen are still having trouble selling tickets.

Even with a popular Canadian band headlining this year’s concert series, the Bulkley Valley Kinsmen are still having trouble selling tickets to one of their main summer events, according to one organizer.

“It’s low,” said concert chair Mike Henfrey. “Everybody waits until the last minute.”

The Kinsmen’s concert series kicks off Friday, and while they are anticipating roughly 1,000 people will be in attendance for the outdoor event, they have only sold about 250 tickets so far.

Tickets sales are slow at the Smithers Saltos Gymnastics Club as well.

Becky Stavast, fundraising chair with the Saltos, doesn’t know how many tickets they’ve sold but described it as “really slow.”

“This is the first time that the concert has been done in the summer, so that could be part of it,” she said. “People could also be waiting to see what the weather is like.”

According to Stavast, the club is usually slow in the summer, but has been actively promoting the event online.

But Henfrey and Stavast believe sales will pick up closer to the date.

“I don’t think we’re going to have any challenges, we had 1,000 people buy tickets on the day of the concert for the Telkwa Barbecue [last year],” said Henfrey. “People just wait for the last minute and they just show up in droves.”

The concert series looks different from previous years, which normally begins in  September, because the Kinsmen are using the July concert as a test run.

“Eventually, instead of just having the Telkwa Barbecue concerts, we thought if we had one in June and July, we could hedge the weather bet by having a few more concerts in the year when we know the weather is going to be better,” Henfrey said. “This was the first step toward that and if this event is successful, we can look into more concerts in the summer and bringing big-name artists up to the Bulkley Valley.”

However, if the series doesn’t attract many people, they may have to reconsider the future of the event.

Tickets are $35 for general admission and $45 for preferred seating and can be purchased from the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, Bulkley Valley Insurance and the Smithers Saltos Gymnastics Club. Proceeds from the event will be split between the Kinsmen and the gymnastics club.